The Transports Human Cargo


ANN BEARDSLEY from Derby sailed with Henry Cable and Susannah Holmes on board the Friendship in the First Fleet to Australia. She had been convicted at the Derby Assizes in 1786 for stealing clothing and sentenced to five years transportation. Lieutenant Ralph Clark describes her as one of the best behaved on the journey. Aged 21 on arrival in New South Wales, she was sent to the sister colony on Norfolk Island. By this time she had a baby. A year later she married a John McCarthy and they had four more children. Only one of these survived.

ELIZABETH CLARK, also on the Friendship, was sentenced to seven years transportation in Derby in 1785 for stealing clothing worth six shillings. She died soon after arrival in Australia.

Watchmaker FRANCIS ABBOTT was born in Derby in 1799 and married Mary Woolley in 1821. Together they had several children christened at St Werburgh’s Church in Friar Gate. In 1844 he was convicted of obtaining two watches under false pretences and sentenced to seven years in Australia. Arriving in Hobart, he served one year on road gangs and three years as an assigned servant (he was then in his late 40s). Then, having got his Ticket of Leave in 1849, he set up as a watchmaker in Hobart. His wife and family joined him in 1850. He also built a private observatory and became a significant astronomer and metereologist within Tasmania. More about him

MILAD ARBASH came to Derby from Syria in November 2015 after fleeing his home near Damascus. Life there had become too dangerous as ISIS fought the Government for control of his beloved city, leaving him no choice but to go in search of safety, leaving all he knew and loved. Milad’s journey to reach the UK was perilous. It involved travelling by car, boat, on foot, train, bus and plane. His first attempt to travel by boat from Turkey to Greece ended in the poor conditioned boat, filled past capacity with 300 people, sinking in the water and 30 people losing their lives. After being returned to Turkey near the Syrian border, much needed help came from the UNHCR and Amnesty International in London. After continuing his long journey through eight countries, Milad arrived in the UK and was soon settled in Derby. Within a month he found work at Marks & Spencer. After six months, he received his residency. Later he started as a Key Worker in Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme with a local charity called Upbeat Communities. Milad continues to volunteer for charities that support refugees and asylum seekers in Derby, including the British Red Cross and Upbeat Communities and is a Voices Ambassador for the ‘Survive and Thrive’ partnership project between the British Red Cross, Upbeat Communities and the Multi-Faith Centre which supports refugees and asylum seekers in Derby. Milad hopes one day to return to Syria and help rebuild his country.